City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park), who recently gave a thumbs down to Industry City’s proposed rezoning on the Sunset Park waterfront, is giving a thumbs up to a movie studio coming next door to the light manufacturing and retail hub.
Menchaca’s stamp of approval came with the press release today, in which the city’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) announced Steiner Studios, a Brooklyn-based soundstage operator, has been selected to establish a 500,000-square-foot film and television production hub in Sunset Park that will advance diversity and equity in the media and entertainment industry and create thousands of jobs.
The project will be established on the Made in New York Campus at Bush Terminal in Sunset Park. It will include eight new soundstages, gut-renovations of two historic buildings, and a new parking facility. Steiner will complete the adjacent Bush Terminal Piers Park, build a new playground designed with community input, and contribute $25,000 annually to recreational programming in the park.
“The future of Sunset Park’s waterfront is at a crucial turning point. Fortunately, EDC’s stewardship of the Made In New York campus shows that we can pursue equitable development that is publicly accountable,” said Menchaca. “We should always be pushing for greater climate resilience and community leadership, but I look forward to seeing Sunset Park benefit from this new opportunity and ensuring EDC delivers.”
In addition to creating thousands of jobs and new public open space, this project will focus on investing in the local workforce and on advancing diversity and equity in the media and entertainment industry through the following investments:
- $50,000 per year to advance opportunities in media and entertainment to New Yorkers of color and women through MOME’s highly successful Made in NY Production Assistant and Made in NY Post-Production job-training programs, ensuring that an additional 25 to 30 participants a year gain work experience, training, and connections to jobs.
- $250,000 over 10 years to a non-profit organization supporting gender equity, diversity and inclusion in the New York City film and television production industry.
- Providing free office or classroom space for one or more non-profits that advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion in the production industry.
- Creation of a new, offsite local program for high school students to train for jobs in the production industry, with up to $50,000 towards its establishment, plus $25,000 per year for resources and programming and school year internship opportunities.
- A summer internship program that will include two paid 10-week positions, focusing in the areas of stage operations, lighting and grip, and production facilities management. These will be filled through local community organizations.
Steiner Studios expects to support 2,200 jobs upon project completion, including set builders, electricians, scenic artists, grips, propmasters, set dressers, hair and make-up artists, and costume designers.
This investment is also expected to create at least 1,800 temporary construction jobs and comes with a goal of 25% participation rate by Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises. Steiner Studios will also be required to recruit qualified candidates from the local community through NYCEDC’s HireNYC program.
“Businesses are not only here to stay, they are doubling down on building their future right here in New York City,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “Today’s significant investment by Steiner Studios represents a major milestone for both Sunset Park and the City. This project will bring thousands of locally-accessible and family-supporting jobs, expand training opportunities for New Yorkers, and bring greater equity and inclusivity to the media production industry. As we continue to focus on our economic recovery and building a more equitable New York, private sector partnerships like these will play a critical role.”
Also hailing the plan was U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan), who is also critical of the Industry City rezoning, which like Steiner Studios, will bring thousands of jobs to the working-class neighborhood.
“This production hub will expand diversity and inclusion in the film and television industry, while generating local economic activity, opportunity and job creation in south Brooklyn,” said Velázquez. “I’m particularly pleased that Steiner Studios has been selected to build the soundstages and production facilities. This company has a tremendous track record of local hiring and utilizing minority and women-owned businesses. Once completed, this project will also provide educational and career pathways in Sunset Park through apprenticeship, internships and production assistant programs. New York is a creative capital and Brooklyn has been central to this hotbed of artistic activity. This project builds on that success, while providing valuable public benefits.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. said the new production hub at Bush Terminal shows that Brooklyn is becoming a magnet for the media and entertainment industry, which has become a major economic contributor in our city in recent years.
“The thousands of jobs this hub will create are especially welcome in light of the challenging economic times our borough and city are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am especially pleased to see the emphasis being placed on diversity, which will ensure we are making the industry more equitable and accessible to all New Yorkers. I thank EDC and MOME for spearheading this exciting project, and I look forward to building on these investments to cement Brooklyn’s status as the creative capital of New York,” said Adams.